Dear White People, Stop Ignoring Your White Privilege

Dear White People, Stop Ignoring Your White Privilege

Just because you have faced hardships does not dismiss your white privilege.

Oh, yay. Another white person who is trying to bring attention to why no one likes white people anymore. You got it.

At a time when people of color are backlashing to centuries of hate, prejudice, and racism, the least you can do is let it happen and keep your fucking mouth shut. There is a list I, nor anyone white, will ever begin to brush up on when it comes to the discrimination that people of color face every single day. So I am not here to talk about what they face, I am here to tell you to stop trying to control it. White person to white person, you know what I mean?

First, let’s talk about this strange idea that you have just because you have faced problems economically, financially, and so on that, you do not have white privilege. Just because you did not receive financial aid because your parents make enough to send you off to college, does not mean you are facing any sort of “real” problem. Just because you grew up in a one parent household in the poorest part of your town, does not take away from your white privilege. Because you did not live some luxurious lifestyle that you think comes with being white, does not mean that you do not have white privilege.

White has no negative connotation. Besides the fact that most people who voted for Trump are white, and white people have done more damage to this country than anyone ever will. But that is completely ignored. You know why? Because we are white. White people have forced a silence on every problem white people have started and continued. Drugs? White people. Homicides? White people. Wars? White people. Rape? White people. Crimes? White people. All of which white people blame people of color for continuing or being the source of the problem, when in fact, are problems more so because of white people. White people have caused more damage than anyone else and that is ignoring percentages. The same way that you talk about incarceration rates, homicide rates, crime rates, and so on, and ignore the actual percentages.

White people have so much power over everything that we can choose what to bring to light and what to put on the back burner. People of color do not have that privilege. It is actually such a privilege that history is still being taught in ways that ignore what white people have done to destroy this country. Or, if it is being taught, white people have forced the light to shine the blame on everyone but white people. White people have a funny way of doing that and it is because we can.

As a white person, how easy is it for you to walk somewhere and not worry about whether or not you are going to hear anything racist or discriminatory? Pretty easy, right? Or wait, you might still be holding onto the idea that people can be racist against white people. Sorry, the idea that people of color are racist towards white people is made up by those who want to feel oppression after years of oppressing.

Did we forget the way we feel when a person of color approaches us or walks alongside us at night time? Our immediate reaction is not similar to if it was a white person. Or how the government is in automatic favor of white people? I know your usual argument is food stamps, but the government has spent years of mistreating people of color they would not be able to sleep at night knowing they did not give in some way. But, white people get food stamps too. To which "lazy" is a white person's favorite comeback for that one. But this conversation can go on and on.

My point is to stop what you are doing because you are scared of any race that isn't white. Stop ignoring your white privilege because you want to feel oppression and you want to be able to tell someone of a different race that they are being racist. Out of all the privileges, you are born with as a white person, calling someone racist is not one of them. You will never ever feel what a person of color feels, I promise. Let that shit go.

Oh, and stop referring to each other and your friends as the "n" word. Excuse me for saying that, but it is 2018, let that shit go too.

Cover Image Credit: Daniel Garcia

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An Open Letter To Democrats From A Millennial Republican

Why being a Republican doesn't mean I'm inhuman.

Dear Democrats,

I have a few things to say to you — all of you.

You probably don't know me. But you think you do. Because I am a Republican.

Gasp. Shock. Horror. The usual. I know it all. I hear it every time I come out of the conservative closet here at my liberal arts university.

SEE ALSO: What I Mean When I Say I'm A Young Republican

“You're a Republican?" people ask, saying the word in the same tone that Draco Malfoy says “Mudblood."

I know that not all Democrats feel about Republicans this way. Honestly, I can't even say for certain that most of them do. But in my experience, saying you're a Republican on a liberal college campus has the same effect as telling someone you're a child molester.

You see, in this day and age, with leaders of the Republican Party standing up and spouting unfortunately ridiculous phrases like “build a wall," and standing next to Kim Davis in Kentucky after her release, we Republicans are given an extreme stereotype. If you're a Republican, you're a bigot. You don't believe in marriage equality. You don't believe in racial equality. You don't believe in a woman's right to choose. You're extremely religious and want to impose it on everyone else.

Unfortunately, stereotypes are rooted in truth. There are some people out there who really do think these things and feel this way. And it makes me mad. The far right is so far right that they make the rest of us look bad. They make sure we aren't heard. Plenty of us are fed up with their theatrics and extremism.

For those of us brave enough to wear the title “Republican" in this day and age, as millennials, it's different. Many of us don't agree with these brash ideas. I'd even go as far as to say that most of us don't feel this way.

For me personally, being a Republican doesn't even mean that I automatically vote red.

When people ask me to describe my political views, I usually put it pretty simply. “Conservative, but with liberal social views."

“Oh," they say, “so you're a libertarian."

“Sure," I say. But that's the thing. I'm not really a libertarian.

Here's what I believe:

I believe in marriage equality. I believe in feminism. I believe in racial equality. I don't want to defund Planned Parenthood. I believe in birth control. I believe in a woman's right to choose. I believe in welfare. I believe more funds should be allocated to the public school system.

Then what's the problem? Obviously, I'm a Democrat then, right?

Wrong. Because I have other beliefs too.

Yes, I believe in the right to choose — but I'd always hope that unless a pregnancy would result in the bodily harm of the woman, that she would choose life. I believe in welfare, but I also believe that our current system is broken — there are people who don't need it receiving it, and others who need it that cannot access it.

I believe in capitalism. I believe in the right to keep and bear arms, because I believe we have a people crisis on our hands, not a gun crisis. Contrary to popular opinion, I do believe in science. I don't believe in charter schools. I believe in privatizing as many things as possible. I don't believe in Obamacare.

Obviously, there are other topics on the table. But, generally speaking, these are the types of things we millennial Republicans get flack for. And while it is OK to disagree on political beliefs, and even healthy, it is NOT OK to make snap judgments about me as a person. Identifying as a Republican does not mean I am the same as Donald Trump.

Just because I am a Republican, does not mean you know everything about me. That does not give you the right to make assumptions about who I am as a person. It is not OK for you to group me with my stereotype or condemn me for what I feel and believe. And for a party that prides itself on being so open-minded, it shocks me that many of you would be so judgmental.

So I ask you to please, please, please reexamine how you view Republicans. Chances are, you're missing some extremely important details. If you only hang out with people who belong to your own party, chances are you're missing out on great people. Because, despite what everyone believes, we are not our stereotype.


A millennial Republican

Cover Image Credit: NEWSWORK.ORG

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Why The Idea Of 'No Politics At The Dinner Table' Takes Place And Why We Should Avoid It

When did having a dialogue become so rare?


Why has the art of civilized debate and conversation become unheard of in daily life? Why is it considered impolite to talk politics with coworkers and friends? Expressing ideas and discussing different opinions should not be looked down upon.

I have a few ideas as to why this is our current societal norm.

1. Politics is personal.

Your politics can reveal a lot about who you are. Expressing these (sometimes controversial) opinions may put you in a vulnerable position. It is possible for people to draw unfair conclusions from one viewpoint you hold. This fosters a fear of judgment when it comes to our political beliefs.

Regardless of where you lie on the spectrum of political belief, there is a world of assumption that goes along with any opinion. People have a growing concern that others won't hear them out based on one belief.

As if a single opinion could tell you all that you should know about someone. Do your political opinions reflect who you are as a person? Does it reflect your hobbies? Your past?

The question becomes "are your politics indicative enough of who you are as a person to warrant a complete judgment?"

Personally, I do not think you would even scratch the surface of who I am just from knowing my political identification.

2. People are impolite.

The politics themselves are not impolite. But many people who wield passionate, political opinion act impolite and rude when it comes to those who disagree.

The avoidance of this topic among friends, family, acquaintances and just in general, is out of a desire to 'keep the peace'. Many people have friends who disagree with them and even family who disagree with them. We justify our silence out of a desire to avoid unpleasant situations.

I will offer this: It might even be better to argue with the ones you love and care about, because they already know who you are aside from your politics, and they love you unconditionally (or at least I would hope).

We should be having these unpleasant conversations. And you know what? They don't even need to be unpleasant! Shouldn't we be capable of debating in a civilized manner? Can't we find common ground?

I attribute the loss of political conversation in daily life to these factors. 'Keeping the peace' isn't an excuse. We should be discussing our opinions constantly and we should be discussing them with those who think differently.

Instead of discouraging political conversation, we should be encouraging kindness and understanding. That's how we will avoid the unpleasantness that these conversations sometimes bring.

By avoiding them altogether, we are doing our youth a disservice because they are not being exposed to government, law, and politics, and they are not learning to deal with people and ideas that they don't agree with.

Next Thanksgiving, talk politics at the table.

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